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Disappointing Shujaa pick paltry two points in Sidney

Billy Odhiambo of Kenya takes on the Russia defence at the HSBC Sydney Sevens, 05 February, 2017, round four of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Photo credit: Michael Lee @ KLC fotos for World Rugby

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5- The Kenya Sevens team had a disastrous outing on the second day of the Sidney leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, picking a paltry two points after losing 10-5 to Canada in the final of the 13/14 play off at the Allianz Stadium.

After winning only one match on day one, a 17-12 victory over Japan, Shujaa had their hopes pegged on going for the Challenge Trophy which they won last weekend in Wellington, but they suffered a shock 22-0 loss to Russia in the quarters.

The result meant they dropped to the play off for the 13/14th spot and they managed to win the semi finals 19-14 over Scotland. However, they were not as lucky in the final, losing to the Canadians in a game that was marred by ball handling errors.

Harry Jones gave the Canadians the lead after picking out space in the Kenyan defense following John Moonlight’s pass emanating from a quickly taken penalty.

Willy Ambaka however drew Kenya level with his 82nd career try after using his power and pace to evade tackles on the left and dot down after being picked out by Eden Agero with a long pass.

World Series top try scorer Collins Injera came close to his 239th career try at the buzzer after breaking out on the left but a tackle from Adam Zaruba a few metres from the try line denied him.

Shujaa had improved a bit in the closing stages of the opening half having completed 22 passes against Canada’s seven.

But the Canadians went 10-5 up in the second half after some patient build up, Justin Douglas touching down at the far right with the conversion wide.

Ambaka thought he had pulled Kenya level at the buzzer, but his try after again powering through the left was cancelled after the referee called for double movement.

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-Loss to Russia-

Ivan Kotov of Russia on the attack against Kenya at the HSBC Sydney Sevens on 5 February, 2017, round four of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 Photo credit: Michael Lee @ KLC fotos/ World Rugby

Kenya had started the day on a bad note with a flat out loss to Russia in the Challenge Trophy quarter finals, a side they beat 24-5 in the same stage in Wellington last weekend.

Innocent Simiyu’s charges seemed lost at the start and their poor start was punished after being stretched wide with German Davydov dotting down on the right.

Eduard Filatov added onto Kenya’s misery with the Russians second try of the morning after sneaking through space in the Kenyan defense from a quickly taken penalty.

Shujaa had struggled to get a hold of the game with Russia managing to complete 20 passes even before Kenya could complete one.

In the second half, Kenya’s poor performance continued and Russia enjoyed themselves with Smitry Sukhin sinking his third try in Sidney from another lapse in the Kenyan defense.

Russia put the game beyond doubt at the death after Kenya lost the ball deep in the Russian 22. Davydov touched down his second try of the game under the posts after a swift turn of defense into attack with Sukhin converting for a 22-0 win.

Shujaa will now have at least three weeks of training and working to correct the numerous errors when they return to the country with the next leg in Las Vegas set for March 3.

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